Global Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Market - Segmented by Operational Model (Reseller, Service Operator, Full MVNO), Subscriber (Business, Consumer), Application (Discount, Cellular M2M, Business, Media and Entertainment, Migrant, Retail, Roaming, Telecom), Services (Sales Service, Customer Service, Mobile Service) and Geography - Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2018 - 2023)
The global mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market was valued at USD 54.1 billion in 2017. The market is expected to register a CAGR of 8.8% during the forecast period, 2018-2023. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) are those who resell data and voice services with more flexible plans and lower prices. MVNO’s do not have their own infrastructure and own spectrum. However, they purchase minutes of use (MOU) from mobile network operators (MNO) and sell them back to customers. There are nearly 1,000 MVNOs, globally, who together account for around 10% of the total mobile users. Major MNOs like T-Mobile and Verizon choose MVNOs to offload the additional capacity in bulk for wholesale prices, which would instead remain unused and help cover the risk of loses. The need for cheaper service rates is increasing competition among service providers, who are compelled to see MVNOs as one of the options to gain virtual customers. The emergence of M2M (machine-to-machine), cloud, and mobile money, coupled with increased data usage rates, are expected to increase the demand for MVNOs.
Increasing Mobile Network Subscribers and Growing Penetration of Mobile Devices are Driving the Market
There has been a significant increase in the number of cellular subscribers, globally. This is because of the increasing number of consumers opting for devices that offer connectivity. One of the major connectivity devices in demand is a smartphone. Smartphones are very important because of the connectivity they provide. The number of smartphones being used internationally is relatively high, as compared to other connectivity devices. The number of smartphones/mobile devices being sold is increasing, amassing the number of mobile network subscriptions to be high, since connectivity devices cannot perform without subscriptions. According to Zenith’s mobile Advertising forecast 2017, the number of smart phone owners is expected to increase by 7% in 2018. The increasing adoption of connectivity devices and growing penetration of mobile devices are expected to lead to significant increase in the number of mobile network subscribers, in turn, boosting the growth of the global MVNO market.
Reseller Type Is expected to Dominate the Market
MVNO offers its own value-added services or holds no assets in the partnership with the mobile network operator in the reseller segment. In addition, resellers do not get any ownership of the client, infrastructure, or SIMs. Resellers do not give the MVNO the capability to fix the cost. They allow MVNOs reap the profits of operating under its own brand. The reseller is answerable for the costs of branding, sales, distribution, and share revenues with the partner MNO. However, service operators can fix the costs, independent of the costs fixed by the MNOs. Full MVNOs gain profits linked with owning the infrastructure of the network switching. The total profit gained by resellers is estimated to be less than 10%; and the profit gained by service providers is estimated to be nearly 10%-15%. Resellers virtually rely on MNOs for back-office support, thus allowing them to concentrate on branding and distribution sales. In this competitive environment, service providers are concentrating more on resellers to gain more virtual customers, thus aiding the substantial growth of resellers.
Europe Dominated the Market in 2017
Europe dominated the global MVNO market, followed by Asia-Pacific and North America in 2017. Latest technological breakthroughs have assisted the advancement of new MVNO services that can make the overall processes more efficient, as well as significantly improve accuracy in various applications. There have been a series of new product launches, mergers, and acquisitions in Europe, in an attempt to take advantage of this opportunity. The major driver behind investments has been the continuous evolution and application of advanced technologies, to unlock huge volumes, which were previously considered non-commercial. With this series of investments in the retail, discount, and migrant application segments in Europe, the market in the region is poised to grow substantially during the forecast period.
Key Developments in the market